Saturday night prayer “Awakens” students
One of the best things about Loras is the amount of opportunities for growth that are present on campus, not only during the school day but also on weekends. This growth includes not only physical and mental growth, but spiritual growth as well.
A handful of Saturday nights each semester, part of the Loras community gathers in Christ The King Chapel (CTK) for an hour, from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. Formerly known as “Holy Power Hour” for the past two years, “Awaken” is a new name for the same event that many students love.
So what exactly is “Awaken”? “Awaken” is an event – held in CTK – focused on prayer in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, filled with praise and worship music, Confession, and prayer teams.
Some students may be familiar with the Praise and Worship Adoration nights that are put on by Campus Ministry on Thursday nights. The key difference between these two nights is the frequency of which music is integrated. The Praise and Worship nights are focused on music being an integral part of the time of prayer, whereas the FOCUS “Awaken” nights have all the same elements, but with less music, to allow for more quiet time for thought and Prayer.
In short, it is an hour of Eucharistic Adoration, along with some music being played and sang in the background. Wondering what “Eucharistic Adoration” is? Read on.
As Catholics, we believe that Jesus’ body, blood, soul, and divinity is fully present within the Eucharistic Host. Eucharistic Adoration is prayer in front of the true presence of Christ. At the beginning of adoration, a priest removes the host from the tabernacle and places it within the monstrance so that Jesus (within the Eucharistic Host) is present for the adorers.
Why do other students give up part of their Saturday night to spend an hour in a chapel? A few gave us their reasons.
“I go to grow in my relationship with the Lord, while also contributing to the Loras Faith community. Of course God is always with us, but this is a physical face to face way to encounter Jesus, and let Him transform us,” said sophomore Seth Kurzynski.
“I go to “Awaken” nights because it’s a beautiful opportunity to worship in a way that allows both community with other students and intimacy with our Lord,” said sophomore Sarah Seele.
“It is a healthy alternative to the typical college Saturday night,” said junior Catherine Klostermann.
Finally, one anonymous student said, “In my opinion, so much healing has happened for many students at the Awaken Nights because of the Grace received in confession and prayer teams that are offered. The music also adds a great touch to Eucharistic Adoration because it allows us to enter into prayer in a unique way. I would tell people to come and check it out, especially if you haven’t been to Eucharistic Adoration before. It is a great way to learn how to pray and be in the presence of the Lord.”
Immediately following the hour of Eucharistic Adoration, there are board/card game nights held in the common area of the men’s FOCUS missionary house, just off campus.
The hour of Eucharistic Adoration and the following board games are open to every student – Catholic or otherwise, and attendance can be for part or all of the hour.
At this point in the semester, there have been two occurrences of the “Awaken” nights – Sept. 28 and Oct. 12. There are still three more opportunities to attend on Oct. 26, Nov. 23, and Dec. 7. In addition to these dates, there are also a variety of opportunities for students that are put on by FOCUS, so be sure to keep an eye out for those.
If you have questions about anything related to the “Awaken” nights, Catholicism, are interested in learning some more information about bible studies offered here on campus, or just want to talk about life, all four of the FOCUS missionaries would be more than happy to meet with you at your convenience. You can contact Allison Hampton, Daniel Boubin, John Piccone, or Veronica Kremer using their Loras.edu email addresses.